Scientists have recorded the first evidence that consumption of an antioxidant substance in apples can extend the average lifespan of test animals.
The new results, which appear in the ACS's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, were obtained with fruit flies — stand-ins for humans in hundreds of research projects each year — and bolster similar findings on apple antioxidants in other animal tests.
A previous study with other test animals hinted that an apple antioxidant could extend average lifespan. In the current report, the researchers studied whether different apple antioxidants, known as polyphenols, could do the same thing in fruit flies.
The researchers found that apple polyphenols not only prolonged the average lifespan of fruit flies but helped preserve their ability to walk, climb and move about. In addition, apple polyphenols reversed the levels of various biochemical substances found in older fruit flies and used as markers for age-related deterioration and approaching death.
The results, alongside those from other studies, will most likely further polish the apple's popular culture image as a healthy food.